Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2 More Boxes of 2014 Panini Hall of Fame

Man, I love this stuff.  I have broken a few boxes and saw them on sale again and decided to pick up a couple more.  As a HOF auto collector, my hope is always to add some new autos to my collection. The subject matter of all the cards - HOFers - make some great looking cards of the all time greats.

Let's see how these two boxes treated me:

First up are the base cards and their parallels.  I scored one each numbered to /75, /50 and /25.  The DiMaggio is great and the other two are solid.

These Crusade cards are pretty solid in design, I scored another Jolten Joe, a purple parallel of Dizzy Dean and a great looking die cut of Carl Yastrzemski.  This becomes one of my favorite Yaz cards in my collection and it is numbered to /10.

My two Diamond Kings card as the unnumbered base cards and feature two players I grew up watching.  I love the Brett picture, he looks so young.

One each of my two favorite insert sets from this product.  I have officially decided to collect these 40 card sets.  I have a needs list on my Set Want List page and recently picked up a lot from a seller on COMC, he had pretty reasonable prices and took my offer with them together as a group.

Boom! A gem card of Cubs great Hack Wilson.  I don't know the odds of these gem cards or what they sell for on the secondary market but I like the look.  Having watched a number of box breaks I would guess these are 1 per 5-10 boxes so this is a nice score.

The high from the gem card was tempered a bit with two duplicate autos. I have several Eck autos in my collection.  The Sutton is a nice addition with the numbering /50 and perhaps an upgrade over my other Sutton auto from a different set.

The final card in this box was a big one of the Big Train.  A Walter Johnson 1/1!  I haven't decided what to do with this card yet.  I rarely sell cards on eBay any more and have no idea what I would ask.  If I end up at the National, maybe I will take it as trade bait.  Those are both possibilities but my money would be on it staying in my collection as it is a beautiful card.

On to Box 2...

Only 2 base cards, both actually parallels /50.  Nice to score a Giants card in Cepeda as well.  The Yogi card is great, nice posed photo of the swing follow through.

These Crusade cards weren't all that exciting, no PC hits and not any high end HOFers with the possible exception of Dizzy Dean.

A great bounce back with 2 of my player collections represented by the two Diamond King cards.  These were both needs and the Diamond King design looks great. After the Dominators and Elite Series get knocked off the want list, this set is a possibility to pursue.

It was nice to score 3 of these inserts in this box.  Already had the Mathewson in the Giants collection but it was a need for my new set quest.  I was lucky not to pull any duplicates in the boxes I have purchased so far.

Wow! Another Big Train sighting and another gem sighting. I am guessing these boxes came from different cases.  This 2 box break gave me my two best Walter Johnson cards.

The first auto is my second Whitey Herzog auto for my collection.  I had pulled one from a Panini Cooperstown box a couple years back.  Not the greatest pull but I like this design and  the Herzog photo is nice.

My final auto is a huge pull! A Carl Yastrzemski on card auto /5.  I have been wanting a Yaz auto for a long time. His older certified autos are few and far between. Even though he has started signing more over the past couple of years, his cards are pretty expensive and I haven't found one I like at a price that fits my range. That is no longer a problem with this addition, I can take the eBay email notification off and lessen my daily email load by 1.

I am pretty happy with the boxes of 2014 Panini Hall of Fame once again.  I am not sure what the resale value of these boxes would be, I am not in it to flip and make money. I am very satisfied with these breaks and enjoy all the cards.  My guess is I will probably pick up a couple more during the next round of sales.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Trade Post - Dawg Day Cards

One of my favorite traders is Angus over at Dawg Day Cards.  He lives in Canada and has access to vintage OPC cards but has a PO Box in NY to keep postage costs down for his fellow traders!  He has also shown the ability to track down some unique items which you will see later in this post.  Our first trade was in the second half of last year and today I am sharing two more packages Angus sent my way.

First up is some vintage set help:

I have been plugging away at this 1971 Topps set and Angus helped me inch closer with this six-pack of cards including HOF Tony Perez and Le Grande Orange Rusty Staub decked out in his Expos gear.  As of today, I need just 26 cards and have 2-3 incoming.  My goal to finish this set in 2017 seems within grasp.

How about this group of 1972 Topps cards?  These are all mid-high or high number cards which have been very tough to track down for me.  HOFers Wilhelm and Santo along with some stars like McLain and Murcer add to the greatness of this lot of cards.  My LCS doesn't have any high numbers in stock so I am hoping to convince Mrs. ARPSmith to allow a trip to the National in July to work on knocking more cards off this want list.

Moving onto the Canadian portion of the post, 1975 Topps OPC cards!  A nice group of nine makes a significant dent in the want list.  I can't pinpoint the reason, but the Canadian versions of these Topps cards hold a mystique for me.  I have considered making the acquisition of all the Giants OPC cards an annual goal for the last couple years but haven't pulled the trigger.

Here is a 1971 OPC of Willie McCovey. This was a condition upgrade for my McCovey collection.  I think these card backs are among the best out there. I also got a couple nice oddballs for the Giants collection.  I was 12 when this Super Sugar Crisp card came out.  I probably had a box or two of these when I was a kid but never remember pulling cards out of the boxes.

This scan shows a couple more OPC cards, a couple Barry Bonds inserts and a cool oddball of the Polo Grounds.  I wasn't able to pinpoint the origin of the Polo Grounds card but it is instantly a favorite.

Finally, I mentioned at the top of the post about some unique items and I have two to share:

First up is a great looking postcard of San Francisco Legend Lefty O'Doul. I am guessing this postcard came from his restaurant.  O'Doul grew up in San Francisco and had an 12 year MLB career.  He also played 12 years for the San Francisco Seals of the PCL (although he only made it into 1 game in 2 of the seasons)  which predated the Giants relocation to San Francisco.  His peak year in 1929 with the Phillies where he hit .398 and finished second in the MVP voting.  He played 3 different seasons with the NY Giants and had a peak year of getting 16.7% of the votes in Hall of Fame balloting in 1960.  This postcard is a great addition to my Giants collection.

The final item is a first for me, a matchbook cover:

This unique item comes from a hotel the Giants used during Spring Training.  I hadn't heard of this place and this matchbook caused me to do some research.  The Francisco Grande is still in business and had a neat historic video on its website.  I found out that the Giants owner bought the land in 1961 and starting in 1962 the Giants used it as a Spring Training site. There was a baseball field on premises and the great teams of the 1960s including Mays, McCovey, Cepeda, Marichal and Perry all played there. The Giants kept this as their Spring home until 1982.  The swimming pool is shaped like a baseball bat with the jacuzzi acting as the ball.  If you watch the video you will also see a nice John Wayne connection to the resort.

Thanks Angus for all the great stuff, both the collection needs and the unique items.  I have a few things I need to get together and send your way soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2016 Black Friday COMC Order #11 (and Final) - T206 Cards

Let's finish up this series, it has dragged on too long.  As usual, I saved the best for last.  I was able to pick up 3 T206 cards in this Black Friday purchase, all in beautiful well loved condition.

First up we have the Red Murray portrait card, he has another version where he is batting that I will still need to track down at some point.

Murray played 11 years in the majors from 1906-1915, 8 of the seasons with the Giants.  He was an outfielder, playing all 3 positions throughout his career and earned some MVP votes in 1912 & 1913. 

Second, we have Bugs Raymond.  This is his only T206 card.

Raymond played 6 years in the majors from 1904-1911, 3 of the seasons with the Giants.  He didn't play in the majors during 1905 & 1906.  Bugs was a pitcher with his best year being a 18 win season with the Giants in 1909 and his worst losing 25 games with the Cardinals the year prior

My final new addition is this Cy Seymour.  Cy has 3 different cards in the set with a Batting and Portrait card in addition to this Throwing version.  This is my first T206 of Cy.

Cy played for 16 years in the majors with 10 of them being with the Giants, 5 to start his career and 5 more to end his career.  He was both an outfielder and pitcher, pitching during 6 seasons with a peak season in 1898 with 25 wins and a .318 ERA.  As a hitter, he had his best year by far in 1906 with Cincinnati when he lead the league in 2B, 3B, RBI and OPS.

The 206 additions bring my total to 12 different NY Giants in my collection.  I will keep looking for good deals for cards that present well but are in well loved condition. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

I Feel Like I Hit the LOTTery

I had been neglecting my Ronnie Lott collection for the last few months until my COMC Black Friday purchase.  I tend to go in waves with some of my collections and for some reason the cards of my favorite football player became the forgot one.  Since that Black Friday purchase I have been keeping my eyes peeled and found some great cards.

I had my eye on one particular eBay card.  The seller had it listed very high, much higher than a typical autographed card of Lott goes for.  I think it might have been something to do with that ridiculous eBay 1/1 numbering thing that sellers try to use.  This card is numbered 25/25 so apparently that makes it more rare that numbers 18/25 or 23/25.  There was no best offer option on this card so I sent a note to the seller - I got no response.

A week went by with nobody biting and the seller relisted it for a slightly lower price.  Then another week went by at it was relisted even lower, close to the price I had offered.  Again no takers.  I had set up an email notification for 2016 Ronnie Lott cards and one morning before work I got an email showing it relisted again, this time for less than I had offer so I pounced and won the card!

Here is the card that I finally brought home:

I was drawn to several things about this card.  First it shows him as a 49er.  I am fine with USC uniforms and can even understand Raiders uniforms but the number of Jets cards is a thorn in my side.  I was happy to see the Niners on this one.  The photo itself is great, it shows Lott's intensity and I like that he is on the move.  The HOF theme is awesome with logos for both the HOF and the Niners prominently displayed.  Even the red stripe behind the logo matches the uniform color.  The sets Canton Collections name works as well.  Ronnie's signature isn't as nice as it used to be but I am okay with it, still recognizable to me.

I have picked up a few other nice Lott cards that I will share as well.

 I believe Gala is a pretty high end product, this is Lott's only card in the set and it is a base card serial numbered out of 49.  Another nice design and this card is on very thick stock.

 Panini Phoenix is one of the newer releases out and I am a fan.  The geometric figures make for a nice design, they are shiny and look great in hand.

The Clear Vision relic card lets the jumbo swatch be the star of the design, it is great getting such a large piece of uniform.  I am a little disappointed that there is a clear piece of plastic over the swatch, I like to touch my relics.

 This relic from Classic is one I do get to touch.  This design matches the base card and the clear photo of the player in the foreground with his teammates in the background works.  It isn't often that you see a Defensive Back carrying the rock.  Lott did return punt early in his career, I wonder if this is a punt or interception return?

 This dual relic is one of the aforementioned dreaded Jets cards.  I like the jersey/helmet combo, just wish it was for the right team.  Tools of the Trade as been around forever, I remember back in my out of control box breaking days getting both baseball and football Tools of the Trade cards.

Last but certainly not least is another long running series from Absolute - a Marks of Fame auto. This time they got the team right.  Almost the same photo as the Canton card but it is slightly different.

If you don't follow football cards, you may not know that Panini is now the exclusive producer of licensed NFL cards.  I am a big fan of their design choices, I believe every card featured here showcases a plus design and all are 2016 cards.  Too bad that we can't get some licensed Panini cards on the baseball side - that would be like hitting the lottery as well.

Friday, February 17, 2017

2016 Black Friday COMC Order #10 - HOF Autos

I am finally coming close to the end of these posts from back on Black Friday.  The penultimate post features 2 new additions into my Baseball HOF autograph collection.

These aren't the two biggest names nor the most expensive autos but they were needs for my collection.

First up is a cut auto of HOF Umpire Al Barlick.  Barlick was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989, 6 years before his passing in 1995. Al was the umpire in 7 World Series and 7 All-Star games during his career.  He started as an umpire at age 26, one of the youngest ever at that time.  He missed two years of umpiring serving in the Coast Guard during WWII.  In a 1961 Sporting News poll, Barlick was recognized as the best NL umpire in several categories including best knowledge of the rules and best at calling balls and strikes.  He was probably best known for his very loud calls when he was umpiring behind the plate.

When I was making a list of which HOFers to target I struggled a bit as to whether I should include Umpires (and Managers, and Executive, and contributors to the game) in my collection.  I ultimately decided that I would target anyone who worked on the field of play so Umpires and Managers are in.

Next up is a nice cut auto of former Indians and Yankees infielder Joe Sewell.  Sewell was elected to the HOF in 1977 by the Veterans committee.  He started his career as a SS for Cleveland, later shifting to 3B and finished the last 3 years of his 14-year career manning the hot corner for the Yankees.  Statistically he is a below average HOFer and he didn't garner much support during his time on the writers ballot, peaking at 8.6% in 1960 and never being above 2% prior to that. During his playing days he did earn MVP votes in 6 of his first 8 seasons and 9 times over all.  He never made an All-Star game but the first one was held during his final season. Sewell is probably most remembered for his ability to avoid strikeouts.  He has one of the lowest strikeout rates in MLB history at one per 62.5 at-bats and also holds the record for most consecutive games without a strikeout with 115.

Only one post to go from this Black Friday haul, and it is a good one!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Trade Post - The Collective Mind

Late last year I opened 3 boxes of Panini Hometown Heroes and decided to put together a set and a few insert sets.  Greg from The Collective Mind reached out wanting to help me with my wants in exchange for a few of the parallels I had pulled and posted.  Unfortunately he had only 1 card that fit my needs, this nice gold bordered Curtain Call parallel of Mr. October:

Fortunately Greg decided to go on the hunt and tracked down 4 Rickey Henderson cards I needed, check these out:

I was very excited to add these cards to my Rickey collection and would have been very happy with the exchange of these 5 cards for the ones I sent Greg's way.  Have you heard the saying that timing is everything?  I believe while waiting for these Rickeys to make their way to him, I posted some want lists of older sets that I came across while trying to get organized.  Greg happened to be able to hit on quite a few of my need.

First up are a dozen cards from the 1995 Topps release of UC3. This is Sportflics like technology.  My old LCS in Orange County (2 houses ago) had a bunch of old wax boxes and I had picked one of these up and decided to make a want list.  This group of cards got me to within 15 cards of completing the set.

1999 Fleer Brilliants is another one of those older bargain wax boxes from the OC LCS and Greg hit two of my needs.  I still need a bunch of these but I am hoping to find another box on the cheap or someone that has a bunch laying around.  Maybe Josh at Royals and Randoms will come across a huge stack in his recent purchase.  The Musial is from a Walmart exclusive 2010 Topps insert set.

Finally Greg knocked 17 cards off my 1998 Metal Universe set.  This is one of my favorite sets and again my set started off with an LCS wax box.  I wish I knew how to scan these cards better as they are great looking.  Getting this nice group inspired me to seek out other needs.  With this trade package and some recent purchases I am down to needing 25 cards to finish it off.  I will continue to look for deals on these singles and of course drop me a line if you can help.

Greg, thanks for the awesome trade package.  I have been looking through your want list to track down some of your needs to even this deal out.  I appreciate your generosity and taking the time to dig up cards on my want list.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2016 Black Friday COMC Order #9 - Player Collections Part II

I already shared some cards from my biggest player collections but I also picked up some cards for other player collections.  I have found a lot of satisfaction in expanding my collection to other players. It has allowed me to explore cards from different sets that may not have been a focus of mine.  I am currently considering adding a couple more players to the list but haven't taken the plunge yet.

The first card to share is this Retail LTD parallel of Ben Petrick from 2001 Pacific.  This card is serial numbered /85 and is one of 5 Petricks in the set, 1 base and 4 parallels.  I only have this one and the base card so I will be keeping my eyes peeled for the others.

This card really doesn't fit in as I don't have a player collection of Brad Miller.  I didn't want to give this card its own post so I decided this was my closest placement.  I do collect autos and jersey of Kings players from my favorite era with Miller being one of them. Unfortunately my tracking of these isn't good as I already had this card - oops.

I was able to find quite a few Chili Davis cards I needed in this order.  Some of my favorites are the Circa base card and its Rave parallel.  Chili is probably my newest Player Collection and it is coming along quite well.  My Checklist shows I have 425/604 cards for a 70.4% completion.  If I back out the 16 1/1s which I am sure I will never track down with how old his cards are it rises to over 72%.

My Dave Winfield collection would win the award for the most neglected major part of my collection.  I have 773 different cards in my collection but rarely seek out new ones.  In this order I did pick up 3 oddballs - all non-standard card sized and 2 featuring the same picture.  I foresee a Winfield spending spree at some point.

After Fred Dean got elected to the HOF I decided to pick up some of his cards.  These 2 filled some gaps and are both very nice action photos and coincidentally both are against the Cowboys.  The cards of Fred in my collection only total 24 with these additions, I will probably check here and there but I am pretty happy with where the collection stands.

The most pickups from this post are of Dave Parker.  As you may or may not remember, I am only going after Parker cards from his days in Pittsburgh.  Kind of a way to narrow the scope down and his days with the Pirates are what I most fondly remember.

This one scan has a whole lot of wonderful with a 75 mini, a couple OPC cards, an SSPC card with a great stadium background, a Kellogg's card and two MSA Discs with great back graphics.

Some more Parker love with some oddballs including stickers, stamps, credit cards, food cards, another disc and OPC!

These are a few other cards that filled some gaps in the Parker collection.  I wouldn't mind a comeback on the Active Leader cards from 1984, I remember pulling these from packs and studying the backs with the lengthy list of all the leaders.

The final scan in this post showcases 4 nice, inexpensive relics of Mr. Parker.  I think they all look great but the Bats to the Future has to be my favorite due to the picture of Dave in his batting helmet and jacket with the bat on his shoulders - great picture!